Press Releases


« Beware the Recent Converts to ROI | Main | Brands in Crisis »

August 17, 2005

"Of course, we're media neutral."

Have you heard that one yet? It's the latest cliche from the industry that lives by them. What it really represents is a last gasp attempt by the big ad agencies to justify their relevance in a global marketing industry that is threatening to pass them by.

The big ad agencies are scrambling to reinvent themselves. You literally cannot pick up a business publication these days without seeing an article quoting the new CEO of a mega ad agency that his firm is indeed "media neutral." (It's interesting that so many of the former "old school" agency CEOs have been given the bum's rush in the past couple of years.)

What these CEOs are trying to say is that their agencies now practice "integrated marketing," not their fathers' advertising. They're no longer stuck in the old 30: spot paradigm that is rapidly going the way of the mammoth SUV in a three-buck gallon of gas economy. To further convince us that they have truly changed, these CEOs trot out shiny new logos (usually jettisoning the founders' names) and catchy taglines. One major agency recently positioned themselves around the theme "shift." No wonder that firm's business is currently sinking like a stone.

Most marketers aren't buying it. And, they are voting with their feet. They are also voting with their budgets, a growing percentage of which are being reallocated to new, more relevant and compelling forms of marketing that go way beyond "media neutrality."

These innovative new forms of marketing dare to ask and answer the question: "What am I actually going to get out of my marketing investment?" How revolutionary!

This new performance-driven marketing revolution is capturing the attention and excitement of marketers around the world. Frankly, it's not about being media neutral, or coming up with a new way to entertain people (which is the direction a lot of agencies are now headed in their typically misguided response to the new advertising environment). It is about finally being accountable to results. And, it emphasizes the development of strategies and campaigns that actually seek to measure and demonstrate a return on the sizeable investment that marketers must make these days to maintain competitiveness and market share.

So, next time an ad agency chief talks about being "media neutral," ask him instead about marketing performance, results measurement and ROI. Those are what really count. Not the agency's spiffy new logo or tagline.

Posted by Patrick at August 17, 2005 01:57 PM


Post a comment

Remember Me?